Kevin Oeffinger on the Importance of Cancer Survivorship in the Primary Care Setting

January 30, 2016
Kevin Oeffinger, MD

Kevin Oeffinger, MD, Director of the Cancer Survivorship Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the importance of cancer survivorship in the primary care setting.

Kevin Oeffinger, MD, Director of the Cancer Survivorship Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the importance of cancer survivorship in the primary care setting.

Oeffinger says cancer survivorship started to become

recognized as an important phase in a patient’s life about 10 years ago.

In 2003, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a report on improving care and quality of life for childhood cancer survivors. Another report from 2005 found that primary care physicians were often unfamiliar with the consequences of cancer and rarely received guidance from oncologists. Patients reported feeling lost when transitioning back to their primary care physician after treatment.

Oeffinger says that as the number of cancer survivors has grown, it is now common for most primary care physicians to have cancer survivors in their practice.